To those gathered at the ongoing extrajudicial killing powwow, an attempt at a clarion call from the Chief Justice: Puno: Time to use power of judiciary . There’s more in Newbreak’s Chief Justice: Don’t Expect Elected Officials to Address HR Cases. This, as Rogue soldiers rubbing out leftists, Melo says -under the inspiration of a rogue Acting Secretary of National Defense? Meanwhile, Communist leaders reject Esperon’s ceasefire proposal -or is it, that Reds list conditions for talks resumption… ?
But as all this takes place on a national level, is anyone connecting the dots locally? What of news like this: In war vs youth offenders, Duterte reaches for the shotgun. Just recently, in Cebu, I met a Davao City resident, a young person, who was all praises for Duterte’s methods. And if that’s a sign of public attitudes, that should make us pause and think.
As Antiterror law takes early flak in SC, House, A cautionary note is being sounded in Thailand: Security bill reads like a list of broken promises (for additional background, see Thailand on Spin Cycle: As Thailand’s constitutional referendum campaign kicks off, the military rulers are doing all they can to make sure it passes).
…it is important to look at certain factors that may make stock investing a bit more precarious than it has been in the last six months.
The Bangko Sentral’s action is causing some worrisome signals on the interest-rate front. Yes, the BSP recently lowered the interest rates it charges for banks to borrow from the central depository.
Having said that, the market this week felt that the interest rate the government was willing to pay on its new borrowings was too low. While the banks probably welcomed the fact that it would cost them less to source funds through the BSP, they also felt that they deserved more in interest when lending money to the national government.
Further, a reduction in interest rates is going to cause additional appreciation of the peso. While an appreciating peso is not a great concern in this corner, at some point the peso strength is going to force some dislocation, and it could show up in the stock market.
An appreciating peso is good for existing foreign buyers who previously converted their dollars into pesos to buy shares. However, a much stronger peso may discourage further investment from overseas from the large fund managers.
When I see a news story touting the fact that portfolio investment from abroad is hitting record levels almost on a monthly basis, I tend to get a little worried. In addition, the question arises: have share-price increases moved too far (and too quickly) ahead of company profits?
On the political front, De Venecia allies belittle Kampi’s quest for power although columnist Julius Fortuna points out, or rather, reminds us, that Broadband row tied to JdV fate. In his column, economist Cielito Habito warns that controversies like the broadband deal are a return to Marcos economics:
In all three cases, good economics appears to have taken the back seat in favor of other considerations, in matters that profoundly affect the general public welfare. One would hope that the President, being the Ph.D. economist that she is, and having the last word in public policy in the country, would come to the rescue of good economics in the face of moves that fly in the face of the most fundamental principles of the discipline. Among the foremost of those principles is the one that says more competition is better as it promotes more efficient, effective and equitable outcomes, whereas monopoly tends to be inimical to public welfare.
One senses here a disturbing return to Marcos-era economics. Those of us who were around then know that government-sanctioned, government-supported, and even government-owned monopolies or cartels became the order of the day for crucial industries in the country–in media, telecommunications, domestic air services, and even in coconut oil milling. The disastrous results of such economic policy orientation continue to haunt us to this day–and yet we’re now drifting back toward the same trap. Will we ever learn the lessons of our history?
On a related note, John Nery inaugurates his new column in the Inquirer:
What is at stake in the struggle for leadership of the administration majority in the House of Representatives? The President’s post-Malacañang insurance policy.
Both Speaker Jose de Venecia and Rep. Pablo Garcia of Cebu have said they will not rely on the President’s support to win the vote, when the chamber decides the leadership issue on the morning of July 23.
Garcia recounted that, after De Venecia brought over a hundred congressmen to the Palace in a show of force last June 1, the President sent for him. “After that meeting, I was called to Malacañang at 3 p.m. The President told me: ‘I won’t endorse anyone publicly.'”
Garcia said his response was: “That’s good enough for us. We fight our own battles.”
De Venecia also told us he did not expect the President to get involved, precisely because he already has enough votes for reelection. (Before the first party-list groups were proclaimed, De Venecia reckoned that 124 votes were needed to win.)
He also recounted that, in the 1992 race for the speakership, President Fidel Ramos did not intervene. It was only when the Lakas minority had been transformed into the nucleus of an administration coalition, he said, that Ramos declared his support.
(This is an assertion we can understand, but not credit; surely Ramos, who famously worked the phones during Edsa People Power I in 1986, did not look on passively when his party-mate and chief campaigner threw his Pangasinan-sized hat into the ring.)
Diplomatic fracas: South Korean envoy says sorry for visa suspension, but the apology will not affect South Korea’s visa tit for tat: Korean embassy hints at action vs 15,000 undocumented OFWs.
Since my book for last week was “Mao’s Last Revolution” (Roderick MacFarquhar, Michael Schoenhals) it seems appropriate to introduce a helpful idea the Maoists had, which was “self-criticism”. Along the way, the interaction between bloggers and their commenters (and individuals can be both, blogging in their own blogs and commenting in others) is a kind of Struggle session. (Check out Morning Sun for a chilling look at the “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution”, a period the Chinese themselves have now firmly rejected but which continues to enthuse the Jose Ma. Sisons of this world).
Whenever I give talks in schools I always bring up the concept of “fraternal correction,” as something that should be a defining characteristic of any organization. This is why we have the constitutional guarantee of freedom of assembly to petition government to redress our grievances; and it is what entries like Tingog.com’s latest points to: a form of fraternal correction, but also, a demonstration of the importance of debate:
Integrity is the key point here. This is something that all public officials must possess in order to serve with the true intent of helping the citizenry and not just themselves. If he can’t even have the decency to concede defeat and thus end the machinations that we saw in Maguindanao, then what guarantee will we have when he has to again choose between sacrificing his political career against that of the well being of The Filipino people?
Manuel seems to be putting more emphasis on the words that come out of our Fake Senator Zubiri rather than the actions that he makes. Talk is good, but a man’s actions is truly the only way we can judge him. And if his actions are for closing his eyes to the obvious cheating in Maguindanao, then how can we even start to trust him in helping lead our country.
What can I say?
Oh, I know. Noted. Just kidding.
You are are right, and this reminds me of something I’ve been urging for two years now, which is to be consistent. Though an entry in smoke (and the debate in the comments), perhaps no different from thoughts and exchanges regularly featured here, also serves to underscore a point I’ve also come to believe in strongly: we can stand to benefit from recognizing the limits public opinion has imposed, on the kind of political action the public’s willing to tolerate and support.
On an unrelated note, just to vent…
“Migz” has to be the most Jologs (in the standard, and apparently, objectionable definition of the word often used; a definition that Paolo Manalo dissected and disproved in a famous blog entry, and which was dissected to death in an online original research parody by Nino Gonzalez, which, bristling as it is with genuine citations, ends up an interesting disquisition on class in Philippine society and which points out how Jologs has taken on a counter-cultural aspect) political nickname ever (a political nickname is a manufactured nickname for ballot-writing purposes, often not the nickname the candidate’s circle of friends uses), just as his front-page picture recently in the Philippine Star had to be the tackiest attempt at political P.R. in an overwhelmingly tacky industry (“Migz” was photographed in pekpek shorts -yes, “there are pekpek shorts for men,” as Orange Pixie Girl presents once pointed out- with bare toes displayed to the world:I can understand some of the exasperated criticism of our media as hopelessly superficial, because, on one popular AM political talk show, the hosts spent close to half an hour commenting on how “pink” Zubiri’s toes were and how clean, apparently, the soles of his feet were, with a debate, at one point, on whether he got pedicures or not thrown in to boot; the biggest waste of air time in an industry that wastes much of its airtime as it is).
Inquirer Current republished a Black & White Movement statement that Rina Jimenez-David comments on; Conrado de Quiros, on the other hand, says the movement had inflated expectations concerning the opposition in the Senate.
Rasheed Abou-Alsamh on grass fires in Brasilia.
Elsewhere in the blogosphere, Caffeine Sparks discusses her misgivings about the Anti-Terror Law and recounts a debate with another blogger, on her wondering if the Marine beheadings wasn’t politically convenient.